Second Benghazi Militant Convicted In US Court In 2012 Attacks That Killed Ambassador


A federal jury on Thursday convicted a second Libyan militant of conspiracy in the deadly 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

The jury in the Distrit of Columbia, delivered a partial verdict, finding Mustafa al-Imam, 47, guilty on one count each of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and maliciously destroying government property, but deadlocking on 15 of 17 other counts, including the most serious charges of murder and attempted murder in the overnight attacks that began Sept. 11, 2012, on a U.S. diplomatic mission and nearby CIA post.

U.S. District Judge Christopher R. “Casey” Cooper directed jurors to continue deliberating.

The verdict, on the fifth day of jury discussions the followed a four-week trial, echoed the finding of a separate jury in November 2017 that found accused ringleader and Libyan militia leader Ahmed Abu Khattala, 47, guilty of four of 18 counts, but not directly responsible for the deaths of Stevens, State Department communications aide Sean Smith and CIA security contractors Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods.

Abu Khatalla is serving a 22-year prison sentence handed down by Cooper, who presided over both trials.

Stevens was the first U.S. ambassador killed while in the performance of his duties in nearly 40 years.

Al-Imam was captured by U.S. Special Operations forces in Misurata, Libya, on Oct. 29, 2017, one day before FBI agent Michael Clarke testified at Abu Khattala’s trial that Abu Khattala during questioning in U.S. custody had implicated Al-Imam as a person with whom he rode to and from the diplomatic compound the night of the attacks, and as the person shown in security videos carrying a looted map from the compound headquarters.

At least a dozen others are known to have been charged in sealed U.S. criminal complaints in connection with the Benghazi attacks, although none before Abu Khattala and Imam are known to have been apprehended.

(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Spencer S. Hsu 



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